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Confidentiality and accountability

As a health and care professional, you are responsible and accountable for the decisions you make, including ones about confidentiality and disclosing information

We feel that you are best placed to make practical decisions, taking account of the way in which you practise. You need to make informed and reasonable decisions about your own practice to make sure that you always respect and protect the confidentiality of service users. It is also important that you are able to justify the decisions you make.

If you are employed by an organisation, they are likely to have policies and procedures in place relating to confidentiality. We expect you to practise in line with these. If you are self-employed or employ other people, we expect you to put in place policies and procedures to make sure you are holding service users’ information confidentially and sharing it only where lawful and appropriate.

However, if you find that the policies and procedures relating to confidentiality in the organisation or service where you work are not suitable or appropriate, or do not allow you to carry out your duties, you should raise your concerns. This might be to your manager or the person with responsibility for data protection where you work, or with another appropriate authority. If you feel that your employer’s policy might mean that confidentiality is put at risk, you should contact your union, professional body or us for advice.

Page updated on: 24/03/2021
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